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‘BodyControlled #4 – Bio Interfacing’ @ LEAP, July 13th, 2012

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It is not novel for multimedia performances to have a strong corporeal profile primarily using gestures or actions coming from outside of the performer’s body. However, the inside of the body can also be a very vital and diverse source of material for artistic purposes. This approach changes the paradigm of the gestural expression, bringing the processes going on under one’s skin to the fore.

BodyControlled #4 – Bio Interfacing presents three performances using data collected from inside the human body: the EEG waves-based audio-visual performance INsideOUT by Claudia Robles Angel, Seas of Tranquility by Peter Kirn and Marco Donnarumma’s Music for Flesh II, where sounds are produced – and controlled – by his muscles.

A keynote presented by Hasso-Plattner-Institute’s investigator Pedro Lopes discusses ‘’Human-Computer Interaction: Artistic and Scientific perspectives on augmenting our bodies’’. In conjunction with the events of the performance night, anyone could learn more about the artists’ methods by taking part in the workshops presented by Claudia Robles Angel and Marco Donnarumma. Also, it was possible to come to LEAP in the 2 evenings after the performance night, and try out the instruments that were on display at the Open Stage.

Performances and Installations by Marco Donnarumma (IT), Claudia Robles Angel (CO) and Peter Kirn (US) in the videos below by order of mention. At the end, slideshow from Pedro Lopes speech.

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BERLIN.STATUS (1), group show @ Künstlerhaus Bethanien, April, 12th, 2012

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BERLIN.STATUS (1) investigates the big-city phenomenon of art, starting out from the observation that Berlin today is “an art city with no consensus”. Whereas it had been possible to observe an organic weave of sense of reciprocal interplay between tradition and renewal until into the 1980s, young art in Berlin today lives primally from international influences, multi perspective orientations and globally determined lines of production. This development was triggered long before the fall of the Wall by the grant programs of the DAAD and Künstlerhaus Bethanien, the Transmediale after 1990, a growing avantgarde electro and club culture, and by successful intermedia and thematic projects at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, the Volksbühne and the HAU. Additional bonds between Berlin and its artists are created by working grants awarded by the State of Berlin, and the provision and mediation of affordable studio spaces by the Bundesverband Bildender Künstler (Federal Association of Fine Arts).

If Berlin is a landing area for young international artists today, it is not only because of continuing favorable opportunities to live and work here -the culture of “interim uses” that passed its high point long ago. Even though the developments of globalization have had a noticeable impact in Berlin, in many cases artists want to work in the city precisely because they as individuals are consciously struggling against the pull of uniformity. And although Berlin is caught in a lasting state of radical change, young artists do not regard the city itself as worthy of capturing in images; we have also registered a reduction in site-specific and situational research projects. After a twenty-year phase of transformation, Berlin is becoming -neighborhood after neighborhood- a “normal” place to work. However, this does not mean that reasons for worry and doubt have turned into delight, and new interest in ornament, design and non-representational formal languages does not indicate that criticism of society and consumerism is drying up, either. Today, aesthetic debate is shifting towards cultural debate, and some artists react to this development in a decidedly formalist manner.

The exhibition presents artists who doubt in the necessity for large-scale mobilisation and are therefore working intellectually and aesthetically to supplement or sharpen their own very personal profile. Although they have definitely moved the focus of their lives to Berlin permanently, it is not “the Berlinesque” here that provides fertile ground for the extraordinary, but the individual ability shown by every outstanding artist. For BERLIN.STATUS (1), therefore, the curators have selected both well- and lesser-known artists: the common characteristic being that they are laboratory practicians – pure and idiosynchratic.

The main conceptual interest of the exhibition curators is in the doubt inherent in almost all current tendencies: “Somewhere, there is always ‘one small village in Gaul’. We search for that and reveal nuances of change by distancing, i.e. the signals prior to radical change, not trends. We ignore the opposition of ‘newcomers’ and ‘established artists’ because the market is greedy; in the end it will turn everything into mincemeat, but now and then we ought to consider a more innovative dish.” (Curators: Sven Drühl & ChristophTannert).

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The exhibition will show works by:
Gabriel Acevedo Velarde, Silva Agostini, Angelika Arendt, Dafni Barbageorgopoulou, Madeleine Boschan, Jessica Buhlmann, Hannah Dougherty, Zhivago Duncan, Wiebke Elzel / Jana Müller, Hadassah Emmerich, Lu Feng, Shannon Finley, Wolfgang Flad, Torben Giehler, Andrew Gilbert, Ane Graff, Stella Hamberg, Secundino Hernández, Gregor Hildebrandt, Nico Huch, Klaus Jörres, Sven Johne, Jan Koch, Astrid Köppe, Alicja Kwade, Alon Levin, Eoin Llewellyn, Alexej Meschtschanow, Daniel Mohr, Jan Muche, Regine Müller-Waldeck, Xuan Huy Nguyen, Catalina Pabón, Katinka Pilscheur, Bernd Ribbeck, Tanja Rochelmeyer, Egill Sæbjörnsson, Michael Sailstorfer, Adam Saks, Ariel Schlesinger, Judith Schwinn, Martin Skauen, Emmy Skensved, Kei Takemura, Alex Tennigkeit, Philip Topolovac, Luca Trevisani, Nasan Tur, Elmar Vestner, Ulrich Vogl, Jorinde Voigt and Ralf Ziervogel.
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‘X O’, Group show @ Grimmuseum, April 12th, 2012

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To see, what one doesn’t see, sounds paradoxical. This however can be experienced at any time. The human eye is blind in one specific area – the so called blind spot. Anatomically it is located where the optical nerve meets the retina. In contrast to the rest of the eye this spot doesn’t have any light receptors and thus cannot perceive any visual information. At the same time recognition is only possible through that nerve. As the brain is constantly compensating for, or‚filling in’ the blind spot in our visual field, one can only become aware of it in a specific situation of perception. In the same way that the blind spot cannot be fixed, as it follows the movement of the eye, x o brings together works that sharpen the awareness of how fragile fixed interpretations of meaning really are. Using different methodologies the works focus on the view itself and the forms of its perception.

Artists: Benjamin de Burca, Hiwa K., Phanos Kyriacou, Grischa Lichtenberger, Pia Linz, Federico Maddalozzo, Anna Oppermann, Nasan Tur, Kara Uzelman,
Jan Vormann 

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Video below, Kara Uzelman, Expanded Radio

Video below, Phanos Kyriacou, Accumulation of Leftovers 

Curated by Silvia Ploner and Anna Schäffler
Text source: Grimmuseum Press release, more info

‘eins’, students group exhibition @ Neuen Schule für Fotografie Berlin, March 30th, 2012

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The exhibition ‘eins’ is the first of two exhibitions from Eva Bertram and Marc Volk graduating classes at the Neuen Schule für Fotografie in Berlin. The presented works cover a wide spectrum: self-dramatization and long exposures in different contexts, conflicts with dreams, reality, fiction or literary produced exposures with no camera.

All the works reflect the resources used, whether searching for the formulation of its own position: how to draw a picture of light? How can the photographic medium make a difference to the seemingly familiar, often not perceived? How can uncertainties – out of focus, transparency, cut-outs, vacancies – open an image in its relations?

These questions are also questions about the process leading to image formation. The viewer is invited to read the images, viewing habits to question and bring it into alignment with our own experience and their own images.

In the first exhibition ‘eins’ will show the final works of Pablo Ruiz Holst,  Tanya Polz, Ingolf Sessler, Sarah Sperling, Birte Zellentin Liza Kunze and Charlotte Zellerhoff.

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Pablo Ruiz Holst in his ATELIERBESUCHE (STUDIO VISITS) deals with the classical portrait to artists and explores the space between pose and authenticity within such meeting.

Lisa Kunze is the author of WAS BLEIBT (WHAT REMAINS) which is as a visual translation of Judith Hermann novel “Alice”.

Tanya Polz in NOSCE TE IPSUM  goes in an unconventional way to personal memories, insights and experiences from the past.

Ingolf Seßler in his project TRANSFORMATION works about the connection between photography and dance, with long-term exposures to create his own characters.

Sarah Sperling in her work MINIMUM SEPARABILE examines the human eye operation with respect to screen errors representation.

Birte Zellentin in MAMAMASCHINE (MAMA MACHINE) engages unpretentious manner in disillusioning the dependent relationship between mother and infant breast-feeding and the concomitant alienation from the mother body.

Charlotte Zellerhoff in her work INSOMNIA deals narrative and forcefully with nocturnal insomnia condition.

Better view of pics in ulr

31. March – 06. May 2012

Text: free translation by me from the original in German available on

‘La zona: Radio pickinck performance’ by Ralf Homann @ NGBK, April 19th, 2012

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La zona. Radio Picknick performance

What does constitute the unclear zone of a revolution? Who defines such a statement? For decades, small, illegal FM stations have been accompanying resistant political practices without any kind of vanity and in a very charming way: from occupied grounds of nuclear power stations, border camps of “no human is illegal” campaigns, to camps on Wall Street, the Schlosspark in Stuttgart and soon perhaps in Berlin-Mitte. Under the radar of visual and thus representative charging: It is a remote flickering, a hissing and a silence maintained by pure energy. Maybe also the blue taste of roasted sesame seeds on salted celery. Could it be that a political act that emerges from nothing?, without an interest?, from a wayside gathering? From a picnic arrangement somewhere in the open countryside? With roasted sesame seeds and a radio station?

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Ralf Homann works as an artist and author of radio features. He examines the relationship between space and electronic media with a special interest in the narratives behind knowledge. From 1999-2008 he developed the Experimental Radio at Bauhaus University Weimar.

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‘Difference a bend #2’, Anja Majer, Rebecca Michaelis & Arne Schreiber @ Stedefreund, March 30th, 2012

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Michel Foucault, “Of Other Spaces” in Heterotopia and the City, (Abingdon: Routledge, 2008), 17.

“In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal space that virtually opens up behind the surface; I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives me my own visibility, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent. Utopia of the mirror. But it is also a heterotopia in so far as the mirror does really exist, and as it exerts on the place I occupy a sort of return effect; it is starting from the mirror that I discover my absence in the place where I am, since I see myself over there. … The mirror functions as a heterotopia in the respect that it renders this place that I occupy at the moment when I look at myself in the looking glass at once absolutely real, connected with all the space that surrounds it, and absolutely unreal, since in order to be perceived, it has to pass through this virtual point, which is over there”.

The reflection in the mirror is thus always the inversion of a material, physical world of objects and persons into an immaterial image, which demands that the viewer reposition himself in relation to his physically perceived location. Within the actuality of space and time, the perceiver moves along shifted, bent paths running parallel to reality. In the process, the interplay of observation, perception and conceptualization is constantly engaging with the parallel conception of images.

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Arne Schreiber’s picture-object #301-303MKS facilitates conscious percep-tion of the viewer’s location by mediating between physical/material and immaterial images. In both its tripartite construction and its material composition, it calls to mind a folding makeup mirror, in which viewers can see themselves—both physically and intellectually—in the exhibition space around them. The continuity of the reflection is broken, however, by parallel linework applied with acrylic paint, a ruler and a notched trowel, created via a process of manual repetition and the deviations that entails. Each of the artist’s individual actions produces a physical relationship, which is precisely what enables the gaze to shift between perceptible, physical presence and conceptual parallel construction.

Another investigation of the viewer’s position between physical and intellectual percep-tion is the piece Still playing by Anja Majer. A flat-screen TV mounted on the wall shows a video loop of the color blue. Stuck to the screen is a picture of a bird, thanks to which the blue is promptly experienced as its physical counterpart, the sky. As a virtually generated image, though, the blue monitor also refers both to the blue screen used as a back- ground for compositing multiple video images together, and to the computer error screen known as the “blue screen of death”—and thus to our perception of content and material- ity. While the bird image initially grants access to a simulated reality of an actual realm of experience, in its physical nature as a sticker it simultaneously marks a “real” boundary between the physically perceptible and the dematerialized image. Eject, another piece by Majer, expands the artist’s inquiry into various levels and spaces of perception.

Rebecca Michaelis has a very different way of connecting a physically present object with the idea of the image as a space of imagination. Taking her own biography and the history of Stedefreund’s current location as her starting points, she presents an object titled Gneez: a five-pointed sheet-steel star powder-coated in green. The piece grows out of the idea that symbols, in ways that are both tangible and intangible, simultaneously occupy spaces (physical and mental) and express specific cultural mentalities and identi- ties. Thus the star may be read, in the context of the exhibition space on Straßburger Straße, which served as the ruling party’s motor pool during the GDR era, as a symbol of the socialist or communist worldview. On the other hand, the artist is also taking up the star as an abstract sign that fulfills specific formal requirements. In the process of perception, the concurrence of this purely abstract form with the narrative engendered by the possibility of cultural-historical interpretation mediates between reality and fiction. Here, Michaelis finds, the activity of painting comes into contact with the activity of read- ing: “A succession of abstract signs, of letters, gives rise to places, people, conflicts in the world of the reader’s thoughts; the abstract signs become a world of their own.” In this connection, the title Gneez has a literary analogue as well: It comes from the book Jahrestage by Uwe Johnson, in which “Gneez” refers to a fictional city in Mecklenburg, whose geographical location corresponds roughly to that of the real city of Grevesmüh- len.

By contrasting the conceptual differences between the artistic positions of Anja Majer, Rebecca Michaelis and Arne Schreiber, it becomes possible to investigate pictorial con- ventions and conceptions. The image is interrogated not only as illusionistic space, but also as a mirror of the world or a window, and thus understood as part of the multimedia interplay of an art exhibition.

March 31–April 28, 2012

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ReFunct Media #4 @ LEAP, April 13th, 2012

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ReFunct Media is a multimedia installation that (re)uses numerous “obsolete” electronic devices (digital and analogue media players and receivers). These devices are hacked, misused and combined into a large and complex chain of elements. To use an ecological analogy they “interact” in different symbiotic relationships such as mutualism, parasitism and commensalism.

Voluntarily complex and unstable, ReFunct Media isn’t proposing answers to the questions raised by e-waste, planned obsolescence and sustainable design strategies. Rather, as an installation it experiments and explores unchallenged possibilities of ‘obsolete’ electronic and digital media technologies and our relationship with technologies and consumption.

LEAP (Lab for Electronic and Arts and Performance) presents ReFunct Media #4, a collaborative project by Benjamin Gaulon (IE/FR), Niklas Roy (DE), Karl Klomp (NL),  Tom Verbruggen (NL) and Gijs Gieskes (NL).

In the slide show: Trash with attitude (object, in the slide show correspond to the picture that contains a display and machine with word FUCK YOU lighted-on) and Electronic Instant Camera (combination of analogue B&W videocamera and thermal receipt printer, pics from people in the opening located in the wall) by Niklas Roy, Crackle Canvas by Tom Verbruggen (it is a painting that produces sounds: circuitboards, speaker, knobs, switches, wood and canvas), Hypnotoad (hardware version of youtube video of Hypnotoad-character from TV series futurama)  and GVS1b by Gijs Gieskes (viewfinder used as display and small security camera that films the person operating the GVS1b so it samples themselves) .

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 Video above: ReFunct media v4 exhibition-installation. The video is a walk through the installation.

Corrupt.Movie- B.Gaulon (fragment 25 secs). This single channel video is the collection of uploaded images on since 2005. The total lenght of the video is 1h 11min 45 sec and includes 107175 images uploaded by thousands of different people from 2005 to 2011.

The opening exhibition included a live performance from TokTek(NL) and VJ MNK (Karl Klomp (NL)): 2 min excerpt in the video above.

Exhibition 14.04.-04.05.2012 

Benjamin Gaulon is a researcher, artist and has a broad experience of acting as art consultant, public and conference speaker and art college lecturer. His work focuses on planned obsolescence, consumerism and disposable society.  He has previously released work under the name “recyclism”. He is currently leading Data 2.0 (Dublin Art and Technology Association), he  co-founded the  IMOCA (Irish Museum of Contemporary) Art in 2007 and is lecturer at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.Since 2005 he has been leading workshops and giving lectures in Europe and US about e-waste and hardware Hacking / Recycling. Workshop participants explore the potential of obsolete technologies in a creative way and find new strategies for e-waste recycling. His research seeks to establish an inter-disciplinary practice and collaborations by creating bridges between art, science and activism, and by doing so, shifting the boundaries between art, engineering and sustainable strategy.

Niklas Roy, born 1974 in Nurnberg, lives in Berlin since 1999 where he initially served as visual effects supervisor in the film industry and later studies Visual Communication at the University of the arts. Since then he has worked successfully as a freelance artist.The core of his work ranges from complex mechanics refined over electronics to purely virtual computer code that manifest themselves in objects, installations and performances.

Karl Klomp (‘79 – NL) is a media artist, vj and theater technician. His research focuses on live audiovisual expressions and interfacing with a fascination for glitch-art, hyper kinetic audio visuals and glitch grabbing. He deals with video circuit bending and hardware interfacing out of obsolete video devices. Together with Tom Verbruggen (Toktek) they play live audio-visual performances (toktek vs mnk).

TokTek (aka Tom Verbruggen) is a Dutch artist who designs and deconstructs his own electronic instruments, giving his music a unique character and allowing him to improvise live on stage with the help of a joystick – the central piece in his live equipment. Behind TokTek stands musician and  visual artist Tom Verbruggen, who aside from building his own instruments is an improviser: synths, toys and computer become instruments.His eclectic electronic style has been described as illogical hardware bending, where the outcome creates dramatic live compositions, which break down into delicate and tender sound moments.In one of his incarnations, he performs with VJ MNK (Karl Klomp) – a video artist that hacks/bends video equipment like videomixers.

Gijs Gieskes, an educated industrial designer, he now most enjoys re-appropriating tools for new purposes, making inventive hardware projects; such as his Feedback video log, Strobo VJ machine or PCB hand-painted circuit board. His work and live performances are a fantastic example of where hardware hacking can take you.